Soft Sourdough Pretzels

Learn how to make Sourdough Pretzels with our quick sourdough starter! This is an easy homemade soft pretzel recipe that is the best snack, appetizer, or enjoy one with a bowl of soup. You’ll love how easy they are to make.

pretzels stuffed in a basket with a white cloth and one in front with some salt scattered around it.

I love soft pretzels with a chewy crust and even better if they’re sourdough pretzels! If you’ve never made homemade pretzels, I am so excited to share this recipe with you. They’re easier than you think!

Pretzels Made with Sourdough Starter

The secret to this recipe is the quick sourdough starter. This is not a traditional sourdough starter that can take weeks to be ready to use. My quick starter is ready to use in a day!

So, yes, you do need to plan ahead if you want to make these pretzels, but they are worth the wait. They’re soft, chewy, and delicious warm from the oven.

Now, if you happen to have a traditional sourdough starter on hand, you can use that instead. Either one will work, but dough made with a traditional starter will need a little longer to rise.

Are you ready to learn how to make the best sourdough pretzels? I think you will love them!

Ingredients

  • Milk
  • Sourdough starter – I used my quick sourdough starter with yeast for this recipe. Or you can use a regular starter if you have it on hand.
  • All-purpose flour
  • Honey
  • Vegetable oil
  • Salt
  • ​Baking soda
  • Brown sugar
  • Egg
Three pretzels in a basket with a white cloth.

How to Make Them

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the starter with the milk.

Ingredients in a bowl ready to be mixed.

Add two cups of flour and mix until a smooth batter forms. Cover the bowl and let the mixture sit for 45 to 60 minutes at room temperature.

Ingredients mixed in a bowl.

Switch to the dough hook attachment and add the honey, salt, oil, and the rest of the flour to the mixture. Knead the dough with the hook for about five to seven minutes. Once the dough pulls away from the bowl and gathers around the hook, it’s ready.

Dough forming in a bowl.

Transfer the sourdough pretzel dough to an oiled bowl and turn to coat it in the oil. Leave it to rise for about two hours or until it’s doubled in bulk.

Dough transferred to an oiled bowl to rest and then doubled in size.

On a lightly floured surface, divide the dough into pieces and roll each one into a rope. 

Two pretzels made on a wooden board with the rest of the dough cut and a rope ready to be formed into a pretzel.

Twist the ropes and fold to form a pretzel shape and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Cover them with plastic wrap and let them rise for about an hour.

Pretzels formed and left to rest.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add baking soda and brown sugar. Drop the pretzels in the boiling water for about 30 seconds and then turn them and boil them for another 30 seconds.

Take them out of the water using a slotted spoon and place them on the baking sheet. Brush them with egg wash, and sprinkle salt or seeds over the top.

Pretzels laying on a baking sheet after being soaked in boiling water.

Bake the pretzels for 15 minutes at 400°F or until golden brown, turning the tray halfway through the baking time. Serve them warm!

Bread out of the oven baked and golden brown.

What Are Pretzels Made Of?

Pretzels are a traditional German baked good made by mixing together flour, salt, sugar, yeast and water. The resulting dough is then twisted into a knot that we all know today as the pretzel knot. Pretzels can be savoury or sweet and are a very popular street snack.

Dipping Sauces and Topping Ideas

These sourdough pretzels are so delicious warm from the oven with a dipping sauce on the side. Try a warm beer cheese dip or honey mustard sauce. But if you’re looking to give your pretzel a stronger flavour on its own, then try everything bagel seasoning, parmesan cheese or my personal favourite, cinnamon sugar!

What’s the Difference Between a Soft and a Hard Pretzel?

Soft pretzels are larger in size, a chewy consistency and a higher amount of water is used in the recipe. They are also baked for a shorter amount of time, about 15 minutes and they are usually served individually.

Hard pretzels are smaller, crunchy and the recipe calls for less water. They are baked for a longer time, about an hour, and for this reason they dry out and get that crunchy texture we love. They are also sold in packages and we usually eat a bunch at a time because they’re bite-size.

Pretzels laying on a white dish.

Why do you boil pretzels first?

The boiling step is very important for the taste and texture of the pretzels. Boiling them briefly in a baking soda bath is what creates the chewy delicious crust and distinctive pretzel flavor. 

If you skip this step, they will not be like pretzels at all. It’s a similar way that bagels are made which have the same kind of chewy crust.

Can you freeze soft pretzels?

This Soft Sourdough Pretzels recipe is perfect for freezing! Allow the pretzels to cool to room temperature and then wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in a freezer bag or container. They will keep for several months.

Homemade pretzels are such a treat, and I just love the flavor of these sourdough ones. I hope you try this sourdough soft pretzel recipe soon!

Pretzels in a green basket inside a white cloth.

More Sourdough Recipes

Pretzels in a basket.

Soft Sourdough Pretzels

Erika Marucci
Learn how to make Sourdough Pretzels with our quick sourdough starter! This is an easy homemade soft pretzel recipe that is the best snack, appetizer, or enjoy one with a bowl of soup.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Rising Time 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 35 mins
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 10 pretzels
Calories 179 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

  • ¾ cup +2 tablespoons milk
  • 1 cup Sourdough starter
  • 3 cups All purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon Honey
  • 1 tablespoon Vegetable oil
  • 1 ¼ teaspoon Salt

Instructions
 

  • In a standup mixer combine the milk and starter together with the paddle attachment.
  • Add 2 cups of flour and combine to form a smooth batter. Cover the bowl and let it rest 45-60 minutes.
  • Change to the dough hook attachment. Add the honey, salt, oil and remaining flour to the mix and knead on speed 2 for 5-7 minutes. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl and stick to the hook.
  • Place the dough in an oiled bowl turning to coat it all over. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2 hours.
  • Divide dough into pieces. Roll into a 43 cm rope and form into pretzels. Place on lightly oiled parchment paper lined cookie sheet, cover with plastic and let rise for 1 hour.
  • In a large pot boil 2 litres of water and add 1 tablespoon of baking soda and 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Cook the pretzels for 30-40 seconds then turn them to cook the other side for another 30-40 seconds.
  • Place them the the cookie sheet, brush them with egg and sprinkle with salt or seeds. Pre-heat the oven to 400F (200C.) Bake for 15 minutes and halfway through baking turn the tray in the oven. Remove from the oven and place on wire rack to cool. Eat warm. Enjoy!

Notes

These pretzels were made with my Sourdough starter with yeast. If you use a the regular sourdough starter then be aware that you will need a longer rising time.
Sourdough pretzels are best eaten fresh although they will keep for a day or 2 in an airtight container or bag.
This Soft Sourdough Pretzels recipe is perfect for freezing! Allow the pretzels to cool to room temperature and then wrap them in plastic wrap and store them in a freezer bag or container. They will keep for several months.

Nutrition

Calories: 179kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 6gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0.4gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.2gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.2gCholesterol: 3mgSodium: 305mgPotassium: 74mgFiber: 1gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 30IUVitamin C: 0.01mgCalcium: 28mgIron: 2mg
Keyword homemade pretzels, pretzels, pretzels made with sourdough, soft pretzels, soft sourdough pretzels
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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